In many ways, Google Drive is an immensely useful tool: it lets you store all of your files in a single place that you can then access from anywhere and from any device. It also makes sharing files and folders with team members or collaborators essentially seamless. But the ease with which Google makes your files accessible to you may also be a major drawback. Because you’re always logged in to Google both on your computer and your phone, it can be easy for someone else to access your Google Drive files if you lose one of your devices or leave it unattended. It’s easy to imagine how that could prove disastrous if you’re using Google Drive to store sensitive client or patient information, financial data, your company’s trade secrets, or any other confidential information. There are, however, a few ways to bolster Google Drive’s security by enhancing password protection. Additionally, deploying Sookasa for Google Drive also provides a secure and simple solution to encrypt your Google Drive files, enforce two-factor authentication, and maintain other privacy controls.
One basic step to keep in mind are adding a passcode to your smartphone or computer, if you haven’t already done so. Make the passcode strong, unique, and change it often.
It’s also possible to password-protect your Google Drive account on an iPhone or iPad by activating the “passcode lock” setting within the app. This setting can lock your Google Drive, Docs, Sheets, and Slides apps every time you close them or after 15 minutes of inactivity. Having a passcode both on your smartphone and on your Google Drive app can certainly be a great boon to keeping malicious actors at bay if your phone is lost or stolen, but it still leaves your Google Drive files vulnerable on a computer or if your passcodes are easily guessed or hacked.
While Google Drive doesn’t currently have an option to password-protect individual folders, you can limit the permissions to avoid having your documents changed or deleted. While this helps you make sure no sensitive data gets lost or altered in the workplace, it doesn’t do much to keep sensitive information away from prying eyes. Running a custom script can also add a password lock to individual documents in Google Drive, but even that can become extremely burdensome to maintain if you’re dealing with thousands of files.
While all these solutions are adequate stopgaps, perhaps the simplest—and most thorough—way to protect your data in Google Drive is with a third-party solution like Sookasa that enables secure file-level encryption. Deploying Sookasa for Google Drive automatically creates a special folder that looks and acts like all your other Google Drive folders. Any documents placed in this folder get automatically encrypted at the file level, meaning that they’re encrypted before ever reaching the cloud and stay encrypted anywhere they’re synced or sent. It’s easy to share an encrypted file or folder with a colleague or collaborator, and only the users you authorize will be able to decrypt the contents of your files. This way, user mistakes, lost devices, or hacked passwords won’t be the end of the world for your sensitive data because it will still be encrypted—and indecipherable—with Sookasa.
In addition to providing strong encryption measures, Sookasa can also enforce security measures. For example, team administrators can enable mandatory two-factor authentication for their users, requiring a password and a secondary code to access any files in Google Drive and its encrypted Sookasa folder.
Passwords are the first point of entry for any malicious actor trying to access confidential data. Shockingly, weak passwords are still widely in use, which doesn’t do security any favors. Enacting high-level security measures like encryption is essential to guaranteeing data security, but making sure you and your team have strong passwords is the first step toward managing your security.